A bank manager (Hoffman) with: (a) a gambling problem and (b) access to a multi-million dollar account gets into a messy situation. Based on the story of the largest one-man bank fraud in Canadian history.
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Dan Mahowny was a rising star at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. At twenty-four he was assistant manager of a major branch in the heart of Toronto's financial district. To his colleagues he was a workaholic. To his customers, he was astute, decisive and helpful. To his friends, he was a quiet, but humorous man who enjoyed watching sports on television. To his girlfriend, he was shy but engaging. None of them knew the other side of Dan Mahowny--the side that executed the largest single-handed bank fraud in Canadian history, grossing over $10 million in eighteen months to feed his gambling obsession. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
While this is not technically a remake, the film The Borrower is based on the same true story. See more »
In Toronto, with no other source of large sums of money, Mahowny converts a customer's $200,000 withdrawal to $300,000 to steal the excess. Yet when he arrives in Atlantic City, the cage person acknowledges his payment of $100,000. In 1980, $100,000 US would have cost at least $115,000 Canadian. See more »
Interesting examination of a young Canadian bank executive who embezzles money to feed an insatiable gambling addiction.
Hoffman gives a yeoman's if not overly subdued performance as Dan Mahowny, and the film for the most part is a better than average watch. Strangely, the film plops you right into chapter 5 or thereabouts, and your left wondering who is this guy for the entire film. The motivation for Mahowny's odd behavior is never really broached. The film starts with Mahowny sports betting and playing for the usual small stakes, he then mysteriously falls off a cliff in his wagering amounts and we're supposed to swallow that it all stemmed off of a 10000 obligation? Then we're off to the races as he becomes this casino legend. Needed a little more development, and thats being kind.
The direction is clever, in particular the ironic use of scenes showing the symbiotic relationship of bank and casino. On the nay side, the small budget generates the expected technical issues, most glaringly, never once providing camera-work that remotely convinces you he's in either Vegas or Atlantic City. The casino interior shots aren't properly done to eliminate the claustrophobic soundstagitis, and the only exterior shots found in the entire movie, are blatantly in Canada. As example, there is a scene where Mahowny is contemplating life while standing on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean. Its so obviously a lake or even pond and not the ocean, that its borderline embarrassing. Finally John Hurt, who i really like, is given liberty to really ham it overboard. But believe it or not, I genuinely like this film, and do recommend it.
PS/ I don't care that what anyone says, the woman who hits him up for 100 bux in the casino is Sandra Oh.
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